With the holiday shopping season about to kick up in earnest, Apple (News - Alert) is ready to make the search for an Apple Watch that much easier with retail expansion efforts.
Just recently, Target (News - Alert) announced that some of its stores would start carrying Apple Watch devices and accessories. They then changed the plan, and on October 25 “some” would change to “all”, and an Apple Watch could be had anywhere the giant bullseye logo hangs. That includes Target's website for those who'd rather stay out of the stores. Target notes that 20 different models will be on hand, ranging from space gray to rose gold, and the website would actually play host to an “expanded assortment” of devices, including the Apple Watch Sport line. Some further reports suggested that Best Buy (News - Alert) would also be getting a crack at the devices, which makes sense given Best Buy's growing connection to Apple devices.
While Apple hasn't been talking about just how its devices are doing in terms of sales, reports from outside Apple have been mixed. A report from Bernstein Research might have been the worst for apple, with its analyst Mark Li suggesting that Apple has yet to even break even on its watch. IDC (News - Alert) Research subsequently followed suit and put Apple Watch behind the field’s leader FitBit in the wearable tech market.
Apple's making a smart move by opening up the numbers of retailers that carry Apple Watch products. After all, not everyone has an Apple Store nearby, or sufficient savvy or interest to shop online. Thus, putting some Apple Watch devices in brick-and-mortar outlets that shoppers are comfortable with should increase Apple Watch's presence and likely also increase the numbers of shoppers ready to buy the devices, giving Apple a leg up in the market.
But the question here is more fundamental to the watch: was the biggest problem with the Apple Watch its availability, or that customers weren't seeing the value of the device? Are shoppers just holding tighter to wallets, preferring lower-cost devices like the FitBit? If that's the case, then it may not matter how many stores the Apple Watch can be found in; nobody’s buying anyway.
Apple may be making a solid decision, or it might be solving the wrong problem. It'll be the end of the holiday shopping season that tells this one for certain, and hopefully Apple will come out with some success on the other side.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere
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